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Old 26th July 2020, 10:34 PM   #1
RSWORD
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Default A most unusually dressed Minangkabau Keris

This one has very unusual silver dress to the hilt. The way it is applied it almost reminds me of royal garb or something like that. Makes me wonder what the purpose of decking this handle out in this manner. Also unusual is the silver gangya. Looking forward to thoughts and comments on this piece.
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Old 26th July 2020, 10:37 PM   #2
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Some additional pictures of this interesting piece.
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Old 26th July 2020, 11:38 PM   #3
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I think we would need to speak with the person who initiated this ornamentation before we could have any understanding of why it was done.

My guess is that the ornamentation was commissioned by somebody who really did wish to be noticed.
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Old 27th July 2020, 10:46 AM   #4
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IMO this kris originates from Central Sumatra (Riau) rather from Minang (type of scabbard, bahari blade). The ganja was replaced, is it really made from silver?
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Old 27th July 2020, 03:06 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A. G. Maisey
I think we would need to speak with the person who initiated this ornamentation before we could have any understanding of why it was done.

My guess is that the ornamentation was commissioned by somebody who really did wish to be noticed.
Yes, this is very true and we can only guess at the intent. The way it was applied made me think it was somewhat reminiscent of fancy dress. You have a sash across the chest, a head piece, eye coverings, etc. Not sure what the piece on the back would represent.
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Old 27th July 2020, 03:07 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jean
IMO this kris originates from Central Sumatra (Riau) rather from Minang (type of scabbard, bahari blade). The ganja was replaced, is it really made from silver?
Hi Jean,

Thank you for the feedback. Yes, the ganja is silver or a silver alloy. It is not steel.
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Old 28th July 2020, 04:04 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RSWORD
You have a sash across the chest, a head piece, eye coverings, etc. Not sure what the piece on the back would represent.
Well this one is a keris!
And yes, unusual dress for sure, at least the hilt.
My general feeling is that this keris and hilt got a bit of a re-design somewhere along the way. I don't think this ivory hilt was originally intended to have all this bling. The pieces used seem to be adapted from other things like pieces of jewelry. It's possible someone inherited this keris in bad condition without a gonjo and wanted to honour it in a big way. So silver replacement gonjo and bling added to the hilt. I don't think that piece of silver is meant to be seen as a sash btw. This is a form of Jawa Demam hilt, the "feverish Javanese", and the bit of silver is covering the stylized arm that is across the belly of the figure giving the impression of a person doubled over holding their stomach.
Frankly i would have preferred this hilt without all the glitz. Or at least with less of it. But then, it wasn't made for me.

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Old 28th July 2020, 04:31 AM   #8
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Not my culture, but I agree from a Westerner's point of view.
'Less is more.'
To quote the noted architect Mies Vanderoh.
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Old 29th July 2020, 10:47 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jean
IMO this kris originates from Central Sumatra (Riau) rather from Minang (type of scabbard, bahari blade).
Agree with Jean, I also would go with the Riau origin. Very interesting keris.

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Old 10th August 2020, 12:05 AM   #10
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The hulu bling looks very "Michael Jacksony" to me; mirrored sunglasses, pseudo-royal accoutrements. I'd bet my bottom dollar (even if the odds are around 2-5) on its having been gussied up the way it is now at some time after the "Thriller" album came out, but certainly not before. The hulu really distracted me from the wilah, and that interesting silver ganja.
I'd really like to know: is that proper? I don't know if I'd be more clear asking, "Is that cricket"? I've seen kujang with pamor of Cu and Ni, but I'd never expect to see a keris with such pamor; it would be too "out there", too avant garde, and..."It's just not done". How about a brass or copper ganja? Would such a thing be within the limits of what's acceptable?
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Old 10th August 2020, 05:10 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mickey the Finn
I've seen kujang with pamor of Cu and Ni, but I'd never expect to see a keris with such pamor
Really? I cannot image copper being used as a pamor material as it has a melting point that is lower than most forging temperatures.
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Old 10th August 2020, 10:36 PM   #12
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You're right David. If we are working with iron & steel, we do not bring brass or copper anywhere near the work area. That's what I was taught.

However --- I do have a badik that has copper and/or brass incorporated into the folds in the blade. I have no idea at all how it was done.
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Old 26th July 2021, 04:38 AM   #13
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I have several kujang described by the seller as having copper and nickel pamor.

I don't know what the primary material of the blade is, but it looks like carbon steel and/ or iron. (I.e: grey metal presenting both lighter and darker hues, compared with the white metal within the "pamor").

As for the "nickel": I don't know enough about this metal to be able to say either way whether it is nickel or not. Whether or not it's nickel, aluminum, tin, coin silver, Thai silver, German silver, Peruvian silver, alpaca, or bona-fide Argentum, I don't know. I have no reason to doubt that the seller is communicating to me the most accurate information he has (which may be only what he was told by the maker, and not necessarily 100% accurate). I have no reason to believe that the guy who sold them to me did not acquire them directly from the maker, and no reason to suspect he (the guy who sold them to me) is misrepresenting the nature and/ or quality of the articles. I have no reason to believe the guy who sold them to me was not lied to by the guy he acquired them from. I do have reasons to believe that the guy who sold them to me did not acquire them from a "middle man".

I have only about seven years experience doing business with the Javanese. During this time I've learned if one does not ask questions first, it's not the fault of the seller if you get something other than what you assumed you were buying. None of the Javanese I've done business with directly (without exception) have been overtly deceptive or grossly misrepresented what they were selling to me. I've never had any grounds to complain about anything I've bought from a Javanese. Is it a sin to allow a man to deceive himself, on the other hand...? Buyer beware, and ask questions first. Pay particular attention to what is not said. Make no assumptions, and take nothing for granted. That which you look at but do not see may perhaps be what you will get... Your mileage may vary. It's entirely possible that fortune has smiled upon me an unbelievable number of times in succession...but I don't believe in the existence of fortune or luck.

I have much more experience with copper, and (to the extent of my knowledge and experience) the reddish metal within the pamor does not present an appearance inconsistent with that of copper.

My apologies for not providing photos.
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Old 26th July 2021, 09:56 PM   #14
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The decorations remind me of Tenegre hilts in the Philippines. These hilts are not used for kris, and I doubt there is any real relationship to be found here, but perhaps the owner of the Sumatran hilt got inspired by the bling.

19th century hilt

restored Tenegre hilt

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